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Movie Review: 'Resistance' (2020)

category france / belgium / luxemburg | anti-fascism | review author Sunday July 18, 2021 08:06author by LAMA - Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) Report this post to the editors

Review about a famous person's participation in the French Resistance during World War 2.
resistance.jpg

The best French movie is Children of Paradise (1945). It is a sweeping romance set in the 19th-century Parisian demimonde. One of the main characters is Baptiste (Jean-Louise Barrault), a mime. He is among one of four men who briefly come to the attention of Garance (Arletty), the main female character. While all the actors are excellent, it is the tender portrayal of Baptiste and his scenes that tend to stick in the memory. An interesting aspect of the film is the conditions in which it was made. Production took place during World War 2 in both Vichy and Occupied France. The participants in the picture ranged in their actions and political sympathies, with some extras being resistance members and some of the leads later being accused of collaboration.

Resistance (2020) is a movie that just isn’t in the same league as its famous predecessor but is related in some senses. It is a biographical look at the early life of the well-known 20th-century French mime Marcel Marceau. To many today Marceau is almost a cliche, a cloying exemplar of an art that is an acquired taste at best and downright annoying at worst. This film strips away that image and takes us back to his origins as a young, unknown performer. We first encounter him in 1939 scuffling around Strasbourg doing gigs in cheap cabarets while working for his father in their family butchers shop. Marcel is frivolous but as Hitler’s ambitions are realised, he starts to wrestle with the reality that being Jewish means he has to take an active stance in reaction. This mostly takes the form of helping Jewish children escape the Nazis, using his mime skills along the way to ease their emotional trauma. In addition, though, he is capable of engaging in the physically dangerous aspects of resistance work, including attacks on German soldiers. This tactical division between attacking the perpetrators or defending their victims is one of the lightly philosophical strands of the story. Eventually, Marceau opts for the former and one of the commendable aspects is both are viewed as brave and worthy approaches.

Marceau is played by Jesse Eisenberg and he does a good job of avoiding a mawkish portrayal. He is helped in this by the other cast members. There is a chilling performance from Matthias Schweighofer as Klaus Barbie, the brutal Nazi officer who is tasked with eliminating the resistance. One particular scene on a train filmed in close-up is especially chilling as Marceau battles wits with Barbie while trying to save some kids. Another noteworthy effort comes from French actress Clemence Poesy as Emma, who falls in love with Marceau. She brings a dual strength and vulnerability, with an often deeply pained expression on her face.

On the downside is the unfortunate liberties the story takes with historical truth. It is true Marceau did make a small number of trips in aid of children and it is something that certainly deserves recognition. The film greatly exaggerates this number, however. Likewise, Emma is a fictional character, provided no doubt to add some pathos to the story. Perhaps the most damning re-ordering of history is that Marceau and Barbie never met. In fact, they were geographically hundreds of miles apart during the war. The conclusion that fits best is that this was motivated by a simultaneous desire to prematurely elevate Marceau’s status by putting him up against the infamous ‘Butcher of Lyon’ and to provide the pretext for a classic escape narrative. We should never expect any bio-pic to be an exact account of a life. It is a drama and we should anticipate certain alterations. However, the manipulations of this story seem unjustified and betray a lack of confidence in the subject. Marceau played a small but respectable role in the resistance and it is good that he gains recognition for this, but it’s questionable that this film serves him as well as it should.

Unlike Children of Paradise, Resistance is not a ‘must see’ movie, especially given its historical inexactitudes. However, it is well-acted, mostly avoids emotional excess, and adds elements of substance to the popular image of a well-known entertainer.

Verwandter Link: https://awsm.nz/?p=11148
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460_0___30_0_0_0_0_0_house_of_mesopotamia_1.jpg imagePress release in support to the House of Mesopotamia after the attack 19:43 Mon 05 Apr by UCL Lyon 0 comments

On Saturday April 3rd in the afternoon, the House of Mesopotamia located in the 7th district of Lyon, France, was violently attacked by a group of fascists belonging to the Grey Wolves (Turkish far right movement).

The House of Mesopotamia is a cultural place of the Kurdish community which is a strong emancipatory force that has been fighting for many years against Daech on one hand and Erdogan on the other hand.

photo_20210322_191826.jpg imageFascist attacks will not stop us! 05:27 Tue 23 Mar by Groupe de Lyon - UCL 6 comments

The Anarkismo network relays the communiqué of the Lyon group of the Union Communiste Libertaire (UCL), an organisation active in France and Belgium and which is a member of the network. We express our solidarity with our comrades in Lyon and relay their communiqué and their call for financial solidarity.

1486395120135_1.jpg imageSolidarity with Théo and every victim of police abuse! No to the “Public Security” law! 02:22 Wed 15 Feb by Coordination des Groupes Anarchistes 0 comments

The Coordination of Arnarchist Groups (CGA) affirms its solidarity with Théo, who was raped, beaten and insulted by four policemen on the second of last February. We also affirm our solidarity with people who has shown and keep showing their legitimate outrage against police in Aulnay and others municipalities of Seine-Saint-Denis. We denounce the use of violence by the police against protesters, in particular the warning shots using live rounds during the night from the 6th to the 7th of February, as well as all the arrests and the criminal convictions. This Saturday the 11th of February, demonstration against police violence and in solidarity with Théo were organized all over France. Thousands of protesters gathered in front of the Bobigny court where the repression was very severe. [Français] [Castellano] [Italiano]

cga.jpg imageFascist attack in Croix Rousse (Lyon) and on the anarchist bookstore la Plume Noire 04:13 Tue 22 Nov by Coordination des Groupes Anarchistes - Lyon 4 comments

The resistance of our comrades prevented the fascists to enter the place, but couldn’t avoid property damages: the destruction of all window panes and part of the metal blinds. Several people were slightly injured in this attack that lasted long minutes, mainly because of projectiles (stones, metallic tools, bottles) thrown by the fascists. When they arrived and when they left, the fascists chanted “on est chez nous”, “la France aux Français” (xenophobic slogans) and “death to the Jews”, as signs of rally and dispersion.
This heinous attack isn’t an isolated incident. It took place nearly 20 years after far-right activists set fire to the previous location of the “Plume Noire” in 1997, and it follows from the current rise of far-right and fascism, which results in a multiplication of attacks against minorities, trade unionists, and feminist, antiracist, LGBT and progressive activists. [Fançais] [Castellano]

antifa.jpg imageLet us unite to fight fascism! 19:20 Fri 07 Jun by CGA Relations extérieures 0 comments

This is no time for polemics but instead to unify the militant antifascist forces while acknowledging the change to be made in the organisation/management of society. [Français]

antifa.jpg imageChauny: Anti-fascists mobilize and organize 18:03 Mon 29 Mar by Alternative Libertaire 0 comments

More than 500 people marched on Saturday, 27 March in the streets of Chauny (in the northern French region of Picardy) to say clearly that they have had their fill of the arrogance of a small group of young Nazis who, every weekend, have been provoking and using violence against any young people in the town who do not share their ideas or who have different skin colour. The demonstration also sought to denounce the fact that the authorities have been turning a blind eye to this fascist, racist violence.

[Français]

imageFascists on the cultural level May 24 by Alternative Libertaire 0 comments

On 24 March last at Vernouillet (Yvelines, north-central France), local activists from AL and other revolutionary and progressive organizations (NPA, Attac, Front de Gauche, Europe Écologie Les Verts, etc.) engaged in political action to counteract the organization of a fascist concert. [Français]

imagePress release in support to the House of Mesopotamia after the attack Apr 05 Union Communiste Libertaire 0 comments

On Saturday April 3rd in the afternoon, the House of Mesopotamia located in the 7th district of Lyon, France, was violently attacked by a group of fascists belonging to the Grey Wolves (Turkish far right movement).

The House of Mesopotamia is a cultural place of the Kurdish community which is a strong emancipatory force that has been fighting for many years against Daech on one hand and Erdogan on the other hand.

imageFascist attacks will not stop us! Mar 23 Union Communiste Libertaire 6 comments

The Anarkismo network relays the communiqué of the Lyon group of the Union Communiste Libertaire (UCL), an organisation active in France and Belgium and which is a member of the network. We express our solidarity with our comrades in Lyon and relay their communiqué and their call for financial solidarity.

imageSolidarity with Théo and every victim of police abuse! No to the “Public Security” law! Feb 15 0 comments

The Coordination of Arnarchist Groups (CGA) affirms its solidarity with Théo, who was raped, beaten and insulted by four policemen on the second of last February. We also affirm our solidarity with people who has shown and keep showing their legitimate outrage against police in Aulnay and others municipalities of Seine-Saint-Denis. We denounce the use of violence by the police against protesters, in particular the warning shots using live rounds during the night from the 6th to the 7th of February, as well as all the arrests and the criminal convictions. This Saturday the 11th of February, demonstration against police violence and in solidarity with Théo were organized all over France. Thousands of protesters gathered in front of the Bobigny court where the repression was very severe. [Français] [Castellano] [Italiano]

imageFascist attack in Croix Rousse (Lyon) and on the anarchist bookstore la Plume Noire Nov 22 CGA - Lyon 4 comments

The resistance of our comrades prevented the fascists to enter the place, but couldn’t avoid property damages: the destruction of all window panes and part of the metal blinds. Several people were slightly injured in this attack that lasted long minutes, mainly because of projectiles (stones, metallic tools, bottles) thrown by the fascists. When they arrived and when they left, the fascists chanted “on est chez nous”, “la France aux Français” (xenophobic slogans) and “death to the Jews”, as signs of rally and dispersion.
This heinous attack isn’t an isolated incident. It took place nearly 20 years after far-right activists set fire to the previous location of the “Plume Noire” in 1997, and it follows from the current rise of far-right and fascism, which results in a multiplication of attacks against minorities, trade unionists, and feminist, antiracist, LGBT and progressive activists. [Fançais] [Castellano]

imageLet us unite to fight fascism! Jun 07 Coordination des Groupes Anarchistes 0 comments

This is no time for polemics but instead to unify the militant antifascist forces while acknowledging the change to be made in the organisation/management of society. [Français]

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